The Alltech FEI World Equestrian Gamesheld in 2010 at the Kentucky Horse Park had an economic impact of $201.5 million, according to data released by the state.
According to the report commissioned by the Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet, the Alltech World Equestrian Games Foundation reported that it sold or provided complimentary tickets to 419,853 visitors who came from 63 countries and all 50 states.
Direct spending associated with the games – such as guest expenditures at the Horse Park, lodging, restaurants, shopping centers and retail outlets – accounted for $128.2 million.
The report also considered indirect spending, such as such as money spent for food and lodging suppliers, construction and other services that were needed to support the influx of guests. That figure came in at $73.3 million.
The report found that $55.4 million was spent on tickets, food, souvenirs and other items at the event while $39.6 million was spent on lodging. The games also generated nearly $18.4 million in state taxes and nearly $4.6 million in local taxes, the report said.
The games also had a direct impact on passenger travel at Lexington’s Blue Grass Airport. In October 2010, passenger enplanements increased by 39 percent from the previous year, according to the airport’s 2010 annual report. The airport and its partners hosted more than 700 private and corporate airplanes, welcomed more than 460 international athletes and facilitated 18 special event charter flights.
“While these financial impact numbers are quite impressive and stronger than even anticipated, the impact extends far beyond the monetary evaluation,” said Alltech founder Dr. Pearse Lyons. “For years to come, our community will reap the benefits of the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games, from a new sense of community pride to statewide improvements and infrastructures that continue to drive tourism today.”